April 22nd has been marked as the official Earth Day holiday for over 50 years, and now is a great time for homeowners to take some time to make their homes greener and more eco-friendly. some simple, lifestyle changes around your home you can do your part in protecting our delicate planet, and save some money along the way!
Our guide incorporates simple, yet effective tips like reusing items you already have, purchasing environmentally-friendly products that don’t use wasteful packaging and reducing your daily usage of water and energy. After all, even minor changes have a big impact!
1. Turn Off the Tap
Just by turning your faucet off while brushing your teeth can save up to eight gallons of water each day. Likewise, you can save a lot of water while washing your hands, just turn off the faucet while you scrub for 20 seconds.
2. Wash Your Laundry in Cold Water
About 90% of the energy your washing machine uses goes towards heating the water. Washing your laundry in cold water not only saves energy but can also keep your clothes in better shape. Hot water typically fades, shrinks, or wrinkles some fabrics. Only wash laundry items such as your bedding and towels in hot water.
3. Unplug Appliances When Not in Use
Did you know that anywhere from 5% to 10% of your residential electricity is drained by devices that are plugged in 24 hours a day? That means your household appliances are wasting energy even while they aren’t turned on. Try unplugging your Airfryer, coffee maker, and even your lamps when you don’t need them. This will make a small difference in saving the planet and also your budget.
4. Buy Eco-Friendly Household Products
Supporting businesses that make eco-friendly products goes a long way. Look for “green” products that can be recycled and reused or made from recycled materials, instead of buying single-use and disposable items.
5. Cloth Towel Over Paper Towel
Although paper towels can easily clean up everyday messes, they generate up to six million pounds of waste every day, and even worse, when they decompose they release methane into the air. The advantage of using cloth towels is that you can reuse them over and over again, which cuts down on paper waste. You can also repurpose old t-shirts and other fabric materials into new and improved cloth towels.
6. Avoid Buying Plastic Water Bottles
You can make a big difference by replacing plastic bottles with glass or stainless steel reusable water bottles. According to a study in Science Magazine, more than eight million tons of plastic bottles are in the ocean each year and it is estimated that by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean. So do the aquatic animals of the world a favor and avoid using plastic water bottles!
7. Turn off Your Lights When You Leave the Room
Be sure to turn off your lights when you are no longer in that room of your house. It can significantly reduce energy and save you a few bucks on your electricity bill.
8. Add Plants Inside Your Home
Adding some greenery into your home can help maintain the temperature through the moisture they release into the air. Plus, they also cut down on the energy it takes to heat and cool your home!
9. Collect Rainwater
If you’re someone who enjoys lots of plants, you might want to consider investing in a rainwater collecting system. You can use rainwater for non-drinking purposes like cleaning and watering plants. This will also help you cut down on your water consumption and water bill.
10. Fix Your Leaky Faucet
Those small little drip drops of water you hear can add up over time when it comes to your water bill. Have a professional plumber come out and inspect your pipes to fix any leaky faucets, as well as check to see if any major issues could lead to a pipe bursting. This will help you avoid a huge mess and a hefty insurance claim. Your homeowners insurance policy will cover damage caused by leaking plumbing if the leak is sudden or accidental like a pipe burst. However, homeowners insurance will not cover damage resulting from a lack of maintenance, so get your leaky faucet fixed!
11. Ditch the Plastic Straws
Plastic straws are terrible for the oceans and the animals within them. It’s estimated that we use over 500 million straws every day in America. Replace your plastic straws with a set of metal, silicone, or bamboo ones, the sea turtles will greatly appreciate it!
12. Unsubscribe From Junk Mail
Junk mail, we all get it and it makes you wonder how you even got on their mailing list in the first place. You can unsubscribe from all junk mail at Catalog Choice or OptOutPrescreen.com and save some trees!
13. Go Paperless
You can mostly pay any bill you have online and can avoid getting your bills in paper form. The same goes for travel and concert tickets, most places don’t require a physical paper copy anymore. Just think of all the trees you can save by going paperless!
14. Make Your Yard to be Animal-Friendly
Create a place in your yard that is welcoming to birds and other local animals by installing bird feeders and water baths.
15. Start Your Own Garden
By creating a garden, you can develop a green thumb and save money by planting your own fruits and veggies.
16. Switch to Reusable Bags
Those plastic bags you get from nearly every store aren’t the best for the planet. When plastic bags get mixed with other recyclables, they are difficult to sort out and often jam or break the machines that help recover recyclable items. Most grocery stores sell reusable bags that you can take with you every time you go shopping. Some stores have started charging small fees for plastic bags to help encourage individuals to make the switch to reusable ones.
17. Repurpose Jars and Other Containers
Empty jars and other containers don’t need to be tossed in the trash because they can have a new purpose. You can use jars as drinking glasses or as a place to store small items. Your containers can be used as a way to store your leftovers or even a new home for your plant.
How Living Eco-Friendly Can Lower Your Home Insurance Premium
Some insurance providers will reward homeowners who are dedicated to reducing their energy consumption. By installing Energy Star-certified products and those that meet new federal environmental standards, you could see major savings in your insurance rates.
Some homeowners can save as much as 5% to 10% on their insurance premiums, just by simply using products and construction materials that are safer for the environment. You’ll want to make your insurance agent aware of any changes you have made to your appliances, insulation, heating and cooling systems, windows, roof, siding, and plumbing systems to make your home more environmentally friendly. These areas of your home tend to have the greatest influence on protecting the earth and saving you money!
Not only will insurers enjoy rewarding homeowners for going green, but you will also see a drop in your utility bills, and an increase in your home value, as green homes are in more demand across the nation.
Earth Day is right around the corner and it’s important that we learn to appreciate and give back to the planet we all call home. These simple, yet impactful eco-friendly lifestyle changes will really make a difference in making the earth a better place to live!
At TGS Insurance, we care about saving the planet, which is why we work with insurance providers like Travellers and Allstate, who offer some of the best discounts for having eco-friendly homes. Our agents can find you a policy that rewards you for going green by lowering your homeowners insurance premium.
We will take care of everything from start to finish, so you can have a stress-free buying experience. We will find you great coverage for a low price because who says you can’t have both? Shopping for insurance can be so easy with TGS Insurance!
Source: Good Housekeeping